Disney Sets Home Release Dates for Artsy Comedy ‘The French Dispatch’

Disney has announced home release dates for Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, an homage to literary journalism, French culture and classic cinema.

The film, from Searchlight Pictures, will be released through digital retailers on Dec. 14, followed two weeks later by its release on DVD and Blu-ray Disc (on Dec. 28).

The French Dispatch brings to life a collection of stories from the final issue of an American magazine published in the fictional 20th-century French city of Ennui-sur-Blasé. The cast includes Benicio Del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Stephen Park, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson.

The film has been praised by critics for its exquisite visuals, captivating performances and unique artistry.

‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’ Available Digitally Nov. 2, on Disc Nov. 16

Searchlight Pictures’ biopic The Eyes of Tammy Faye will be available on digital Nov. 2 and on Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 16 from Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye is an intimate look at the rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker (Jessica Chastain). In the 1970s and ’80s, Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield) built a burgeoning religious broadcasting network and theme park — until rivals, financial wrongdoing and scandal toppled their empire.

Bonus features include the making-of featurette “A Look Inside The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”

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Street Date 4/27/21;
20th Century;
Box Office $2.14 million;
$29.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for some full nudity.
Stars Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Bob Wells, Linda May, Charlene Swankie, Tay Strathairn.

Director Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland gives audiences a gorgeous tour of the American West through the stark lens of the so-called “nomad” movement that popped up after the “Great Recession” of 2008.

The trend involves predominantly older individuals who, after their companies shut down, took to a minimalist, transient lifestyle, driving from city to city in vans and RVs in search of seasonal work to get by.

The film is based on journalist Jessica Bruder’s 2017 nonfiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, which was optioned by Frances McDormand, who both co-produces and stars in the film. After being brought on board to direct, Zhao also wrote the screenplay and edited the film, in addition to serving as one of the co-producers as well.

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McDormand plays Fern, who has been living in a van since the US Gypsum plant in Empire, Nevada, closed in 2011 and the town was largely abandoned. She takes a variety of seasonal jobs, including at an Amazon fulfillment center, and begins to learn about the nomad lifestyle, which she refers to as being “houseless” but not homeless. The film plays almost like a documentary, with Fern as the focal point to bring the audience on the journey. Many of the people Fern encounters in the film are actual nomads, playing fictionalized versions of themselves, who were chronicled in Bruder’s book. Among them is Bob Wells, who acts as sort of the guru of the nomads and leads sermons on the lifestyle where he conveys his economic philosophies while people learn tips on how to survive on the road and keep their vehicles in working order. Through it all, the nomads are often compared to the pioneers of old. The film’s wisftul presentation of the vast landscapes they visit aptly demonstrates why the life might appeal to those engaged in it.

The film isn’t political or preachy, instead presenting the people and their lives as it finds them, and letting viewers come to their own conclusions. Some live the life out of necessity, with nowhere else to turn. Others live it by choice, not wanting to be bogged down by the rote requirements of suburban life. McDormand gives a quiet, unflinching performance as one of the latter, treating the natural wonders of America’s great outdoors as her playground, even when the harsh realities of her circumstances catch up to her.

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The film’s critical success comes at a fortuitous time for Zhao, whose next project is Marvel Studios’ big-budget Eternals, which is already in the can and slated for theaters Nov. 25.

The Nomadland Blu-ray includes a few modest but insightful extras. The 13-and-a-half-minute featurette “The Forgotten America” offers a general making of the film with several interviews with the cast and filmmakers, including Bruder. There’s also 15 minutes of footage from a Q&A with Zhao, McDormand and some of the nomads at the film’s drive-in premiere held Sept. 11, 2020, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., staged as a pop-up adjunct of the canceled Telluride Film Festival.

Finally, there are two deleted scenes totaling three minutes.


Reelgood: Golden Globes Nominee ‘Nomadland’ Tops Weekend Streaming Chart

Searchlight Pictures’ Nomadland emerged as the most-streamed movie Feb. 19-21, according to new data from video aggregator Reelgood.com. The platform scans multiple streaming services, including Hulu, which streamed the movie, among OTT services its 2 million users are using.

Nomadland, starring Oscar-winner Francis McDormand as a woman embarking on a journey through the American West living as a van, also generated $503,000 in its weekend box office debut. The movie has four Golden Globe nominations, including best picture, best screenplay, best actress McDormand and best director Chloé Zhao, the first Asian woman director nominated for a Golden Globe.

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This marked the first time a movie from Hulu ranked first on the Reelgood’s weekend streaming report. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Little Things on HBO Max climbed to third as users watched (and re-watched) the film co-starring Oscar winners Denzel Washington, Jared Leto and Remi Malik, before it expires on Feb 28.

Notably, Justin Timberlake’s Palmer remains in the Top 10 after almost a month since it premiered on Apple TV+. Other chart newbies included Netflix’s I Care A Lot, Amazon Prime Video’s Bliss, and Flora & Ulysses (Disney+).


Disney’s ‘Nomadland’ to Bow in Theaters, on Hulu Concurrently

Borrowing a page from Warner Bros., Disney-owned Searchlight Pictures will simultaneously release the modern drama Nomadland, starring Oscar winner Frances McDormand, in theaters and on Hulu beginning Feb. 19.

The film festival favorite features McDormand as a middle age woman who leaves her rural Nevada town following economic collapse in van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. Due to the film’s storyline and five-state shooting locales, Nomadland will debut briefly in select Imax screens, beginning Jan. 29.

While Warner Bros. is releasing its entire 2021 theatrical simultaneously on HBO Max due to the pandemic, Disney is not streaming Nomadland on Disney+, choosing instead Hulu with 38 million subscribers. The longtime SVOD runner-up to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, has upped its profile and subscriber count in recent years with the release of award-winning original content (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) and distribution agreement for edgier fare with Disney-owned FX.

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Last year at the begin of the pandemic, Hulu released indie film Palm Springs in select theaters and on its platform at the same time. Disney has slowly embraced digital-first (i.e. Disney+) distribution for erstwhile theater titles with Onward and Soul as the hamstrung domestic box office continued. It then offered live-action sequel Mulan exclusively on Disney+ for an additional $29.99 access price.

The trend finds Disney opting to move some of its smaller 2021 films to Disney+, including Peter Pan & Wendy, Pinocchio, and Raya and the Last Dragon, while keeping its Marvel tentpole movies Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and Eternals on its theatrical release slate.

“We think Soul, which was released on Disney+ on Christmas Day, likely drove substantial subscription growth for the service,” Michael Pachter with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, wrote in a note.